Kia Ora All!
To date training is going very well I’m pleased to say! Steve (my husband) has made my programme which I’m about 3/4 the way through. Basically, each week consists of four sessions; intervals, a puffy run (it is as described … ya gotta be puffing for it to be the right speed), a mid-week long-ish run and a weekend long run. In theory, I’m also doing core work, though I don’t remember the last time I did that!! For those who like specifics. Intervals are 4x 800m with a three-minute rest in between, currently at sub 4:10min/km pace. Mid-week hill run is 1.5 – 2 hours. Puffy run is 7km at 5min/km after warm up. Weekend long hill run is 3 – 5 hours.
Most of the time I love company when I run. It’s one of my primary social occasions of the week. I like to put in a bit of extra effort to promote my runs to others so they’ll join me. Here is how I market each run to net a taker.
Intervals: I love intervals, I usually do these during Playcentre time at the field next door while a friend watches my son, it’s a great use of time. My kid generally doesn’t realise I’ve gone and if he does he doesn’t care for long. It means another evening free where I’ve got time to do important stuff like write this blog. Intervals don’t take much time and when I’m done I’m delighted! Hard at the time but 20 or so minutes later … job done!
Reason to join me: I look hardcore in my CEP long socks, you can look pro hanging out with me. Someone will gladly watch your kid so you can run, then your run will be done too! People usually run faster with company. Not everyone does speed work, this is a great opportunity to try it!
I’m too slow/you’re too slow: Nah, we just go around and around in circles, we’ll see each other loads and if our walking between fast bits coincides we’ll have a yarn while gasping for air. If ya don’t fancy fast bits it’s a nice flat 20 or so minute jog with friends, then job done.
But I’ll get hot and sweaty: No one cares. In fact, it’s always nice to return to Playcentre and be asked how the run went and then interested enquiries regarding the regularity of this event and how they may fit into the picture. So far I’ve had two regular takers!!!
Puffy run: I love the puffy run. This is a good one to do alone or with very well matched company. I feel like I’ve hit the jackpot with my puffy run companion. She lives nearby and when the stars and moon align we run together. She breathes down my neck for the duration and I pretend I’m just a teency bit faster than I really am for the duration. Match made in heaven. I love it because it’s really simple. You just work up to that heart rate and go go go! No chance of daydreaming for me in this one just watching my footing and cars reversing out the driveway.
Reason to join me: It motivates you to go faster, it motivates me to go faster.
Mid-week run: I love this run! To be honest, who doesn’t. Nice evening, excellent company, good pace so you can spin a good yarn. Winner every time!
Reason to join me: We can chat, this is the optimal chat run. It’s not too long and can be done after work or when kids are asleep. We’ll probably hit a beautiful evening and get great views from the top of the Port Hills. I”ll bring chocolate.
Weekend long run: Another winner. Indeed it is! Something to look forward to that helps add structure to the weekend. To be honest this is the most difficult run for me mentally. If Steve isn’t running with me I get severe FOMO as no doubt he and the kids are having a really fun adventure without me. Having running company makes me feel better about this. However, if he is running with me it’s my best run of the week!
Reason to join me: We’ll go on an adventure! I try to go somewhere different for each long run. It’s sooooooo satisfying when you’re done! It’s not a fast or intimidating run, it’s about time on feet. If it really is too long we can arrange a route where you can join me part way through, or bail out along the way. See, look how many adventures I go on!
In case the finding a companion thing doesn’t work out despite my best efforts I have other motivating strategies too…
I’ve made myself a sticker chart and give myself a sticker every time I do a run … and it’s been surprisingly motivating. Maybe It’d work for you too?! It’s easy to see which runs you tend to miss the most and I find that a good kick up the bum to not miss any more!!! Also, my three year old is delighted I have a sticker chart just like her, although hers is for staying in bed until 7am, imagine that …. getting a wee reward for staying in bed, oh I wish!!
Steve is doing a similar training programme for the 80km Hillary, but longer long runs and speedier speed sessions. The main training difficulty has been getting to see each other and getting enough sleep. Little kids are early risers and if one of us doesn’t get in from our run until 9pm .. then dinner and a shower and a bit of time together … it’s always a late night and an early start with at least one kid wanting some kind of attention during the night too.
The above was written around a fortnight ago. Current report would read more accurately, “Are the wheels coming off?!”. I had my first run of the season that was not a pleasure, it was far from it … a real trudge, just purely getting time on feet. I’d arranged to meet a friend at 6:30am on a Sunday morning. I woke to the two-year-old calling me at 6am, Oh good! Up in time to run! Then I heard the torrential rain and gale-force winds … I’m meeting Jess, I should really go. Then the three-year-old calls me …”Mummy, I need cuddling!”. There goes that run. So cue Sunday evening, no run done, the previous one in my program missed and forgotten … still raining, less windy, off I go. The friend I arrange to meet at 8pm can’t make it as her kids won’t go to sleep, but to be fair, she’s done her job and got me out the door. I plod around suburbia … pondering how long I’ll stay out for, how slowly my watch tells me I’m going and if I should just walk and if I’ll have some chocolate before bed. The rain continues, the minutes move slowly and at 9:30pm a sodden me tiptoes upstairs to peek in on my sleeping kiddies and see if Steve is still up. He is and congratulates me on completing my run. Time on feet is valuable as is overcoming the desire to go home early. There it is. My first trudge … hopefully my last of this season!
Ah well, I’m onto my new month of training program. While the Intervals and puffy run increase in intensity the duration of the long runs decreases. On the downhill slide now so I reckon with the motivation of a few more stickers I’ll complete the program and be ready on race day.